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Carnival Expands Test of Unlimited Alcohol Package

Author: Gene Sloan, USA Today

Industry giant Carnival has expanded its recently launched test of an "all-you-can-drink" alcohol package to a second ship.

The Long Beach, Calif.-based Carnival Splendor has joined the Carnival Victory in offering the nearly $50 per day package, which gives buyers access to unlimited wine, beer and spirits as well as sodas and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails.

The "My Awesome Bar Program" costs $42.95 per person per day plus an automatic 15% gratuity of $6.44 and can be used to order all wines by the glass, beer and individual cocktails priced at $10 and lower. Full bottles of wine and champagne, as well as wines by the glass, beers and individual cocktails priced above $10, are available at a 25% discount.

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A caveat: Each passenger ages 21 years and over in the same cabin must purchase the beverage package -- a rule presumably enacted to prevent cabin mates from "sharing" a package.

Passengers under 21 cannot buy the package as passengers must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol on Carnival ships.Passengers can sign up for the package at the ships' atrium and casino bars, as well as a bar within the main pool area.

Carnival's move comes a year after rival Royal Caribbean rolled out similar alcohol packages on three ships based overseas. Celebrity Cruises added beverage packages that include alcoholic drinks fleetwide in 2010.

A spokesperson for Carnival tells USA TODAY the line hasn't decided whether it will add the new alcohol package on its 22 other ships.

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